Ellsworth Jaeger

Ellsworth Jaeger

Birth
Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA
Death 7 Aug 1962 (aged 64)
Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA
Burial Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA
Plot Section 50, lot 23
Memorial ID 33709420 · View Source
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Author, artist, naturalist, youth worker, TV and radio personality, lecturer.

Jaeger's interest in natural history and Native Americans blossomed early, inspired by the writings of Ernest Thompson Seton to whom he wrote a fan letter at the age of nine. Graduating from Masten Park High School, he went on to study art at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. By 1918 he was working as a commercial artist with Electric City, a large Buffalo advertizing firm. He took great interest in Seton's Woodcraft Indian League and, early on, introduced a league chapter to Buffalo. He later became one of Seton's associates and business partners. He was a frequent contributor to The Totem Board, the national magazine of the Woodcraft League, which was published from at least January 1918 until the mid-1930s. He was an acquaintance of Daniel Carter Beard, John Burroughs and Kermit Roosevelt. His career as a popularizer of natural history was said to have begun about 1925 when he showed some watercolor paintings with lengthy captions to a group of publishers in New York City. St. Nicholas Magazine bought the first set for publication. Many other magazines followed suit, most notably Nature, Natural History, Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Canadian Nature, and the Christian Science Monitor. His association with the Buffalo Museum of Science began in 1929 when he joined the museum's adult education faculty and began offering evening classes. Four years later he was elected to the Board of Managers of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, the museum's governing body. This eventually led to a career at the museum beginning in 1941 as Assistant Curator of Education. He took on full curatorship two years later. He was also Hayes Professor of Science and Executive Secretary at the museum. With his wife, Zetta, he traveled widely throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico studying the cultures of the Iroquois, Blackfoot, Apache, Pueblo, and Navajo – particularly their craftsmanship and methods of living off the land. His long association with the Iroquois of Western New York led to his being made an honorary member of the Seneca Beaver clan. His first book, Wildwood Wisdom, appeared in 1945, followed by Easy Crafts (1947), Tracks and Trailcraft (1948), Council Fires (1949), Nature Crafts (1950), Woodsmoke (1953), and Land and Water Trails (1953). Two of these titles, "Wildwood Wisdom" and "Tracks and Trailcraft", are still in print nearly a half century after his death and are considered classics of their genre. For many years he wrote a regular column, Nature Trails, for the Buffalo Evening News, and later a widely-syndicated newspaper feature called Wonder Trails. For nearly a decade, beginning in 1951, he hosted WBEN-TV's popular weekly program "Your Museum of Science", viewed in Western New York, Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario. With moderator Virgil Booth, he would discuss nature studies, woodcraft and Native American lore, often exhibiting small animal "guests" from the Buffalo Zoo and showing film footage from his travels. He frequently appeared on radio as well. He was much in demand as a public speaker, lecturing at the American Museum of Natural History (New York City), the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), the Royal Canadian Institute, the University of Buffalo, and Syracuse University, to name a few. Collections of his drawings and paintings were exhibited at galleries throughout North America including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Santa Fe Museum of Art; the Royal Canadian Museum; and, the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences. Further to all of this, his involvement on the boards and committees of professional and civic organizations are too numerous to mention.


Inscription

JAEGER GAY
ELLSWORTH WILLIAM
ZETTA ELIZA


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  • Created by: Jack Lord
  • Added: 10 Feb 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 33709420
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ellsworth Jaeger (18 Oct 1897–7 Aug 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 33709420, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Jack Lord (contributor 46628955) .